Future of Biotech: On Hold, Hold On

ARTICLES | Aug 15, 2023
Future of Biotech: On Hold, Hold On

[#BioTech] [#Longevity] [#FoodSecurity]: Biotechnology will be key to humankind’s future in all dimensions. The bio-revolution, especially, will extend human lifespans for longevity, good health, and food security, for living in harmony with nature.


The biotechnology market was worth $1.37 trillion in 2022 and is set to grow at 13.96% over 2023-30. Bioinformatics and biotechnology are expected to break many current human limitations, such as with personalized healthcare, pre-symptom detection and prevention of health problems, food production, medicines, packaging, or even bio-based energy sources, as well as genetic editing and farming in the laboratory or in the city to create food security.


Demand for biotechnologists is growing. Globally recognized biotechnology professionals only total about 1,600, spread across industries such as pharmaceuticals and medical products. Nearly half (47%) have a master's degree or higher. There are currently only about 200 biotechnology programs worldwide.


Countries around the world are competing to become biotechnology hubs. The United States currently accounts for 44% of the total biotechnology market space. There will be an estimated $225 billion of mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector within the United States this year. China has reportedly invested $220 billion, especially in Hong Kong, to cope with rising medical needs amid an aging society and create competitiveness, both economically and technologically, with the United States.


But many areas are defining their own direction with biotechnology. The European Union is trying to reorganize the economy in key countries such as Germany, France, Italy, and Spain to allow more people to enter the biotechnology market. Saudi Arabia has invested as much as $3.9 billion in research and development of biotechnology to become the world's hub of biotechnology by 2030.


Although biotechnology could transform the world towards sustainability, it faces many challenges to reach its full potential such as global and national legislative and policy constraints. Research units and biotechnology companies can struggle to operate and grow. More than 20 biotechnology brands reportedly generate nearly $200 billion in combined annual revenues. There is a risk of losing patents by 2030. In addition, the ethical issues surrounding access to personal genetic data is intensely debated, affecting finances such as joint venture investment, loan financing, public offerings.


Although the biotechnology market has grown significantly in the past three years with vaccines for pandemics, investment in dropped 54% in 2022, mainly because biotechnology requires high investment and needs lengthy research and development. Only 28% of projects are successful, whereas investors want products that can enter the market and generate profits for quick return on investment.


An estimated 55% of public biotechnology will face financial instability until 2025, while 29% will have insufficient cashflow by the end of 2023, forcing many to reorient and focus on fundraising in the form of cooperation and alliances to ensure financial stability instead of funding in the capital market alone. In 2022, partnership agreements in the pharmaceutical industry will be as high as $132 billion, the third-largest total in a decade. But only 6%, or $7.92 billion, will be immediate cash flow. This reflects a picture of the biotech market being undervalued after the pandemic, although people are starting to see and understand the importance of such technology.



Implications for the future:

- Governments that recognize the importance and future economic prospects of biotechnology need to formulate policies and visions for biotechnology-based research, technology, and innovation ecosystems for all sectors in the country to be alert and to attract investors and high-potential workers to come to the country from the beginning.

- It is necessary to increase the number and develop the potential of biotechnology experts in both theoretical research and business research applications through sponsorship programs and scholarships, although binding talent is required to achieve the project development goals of funding organizations.

- Globally, measures and cooperation are needed for sustainable development of biotechnology to reduce risks or negative impacts that may occur in the future, such as inequality in access to medical biotechnology, use of biotechnology as a weapon of war.



Read more: 3 potential pathways to an immortal society: http://bit.ly/3_possible_pathways_to_move_forward_to_immortal_society


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